Tail Post Tube
I decided to try and bent the tube with my three-die bender and a 1in. die. At .058, the tube was too thick to bend cold so heat was needed. My neighbor Nick Ballay came over to lend some muscle (see picture below) and we heated the tube with the torch.
The tube would bend all right, but when we tried getting the 1 in. radius, the tube would kink. After three pieces of tubing, we gave up. There had to be a better way.
I called Paul Dougherty. He made his Jenny skid tube on a vice. No Dies. No hydraulic bender. Fellow Bucker restorer Robert Johnston stopped by and I asked him for advice. Robert owned a machine shop for many years and he agreed with Paul's advice. He also told me a few tips (which you will read about later).
So, I borrowed some of my kids play sand and filled the tube. This prevents the tube from kinking easily. Just pack the sand into the tube and tape both ends.
Put the tube in the vice and start heating with the torch. Robert gave good advice here. He said you should heat the inner and outer radius of the curve. The hot metal will stretch (outside) and shrink (inside) while hot. He also said not to put the torch on the top and bottom. This is where the tube will kink and heating it will weaken the wall and actually make it kink easier.
Also, take your time. If you heat one tight spot and bend there, it will kink. I heated one area, bent a little, then heated next to it, bent a little, then heated the other side of the first bend and finally worked over the entire area. Sure enough, the tube began to move.